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Joakim Soria expected to pitch mostly in seventh inning
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com

Tigers general manager Dave Dombrowski said newly acquired reliever Joakim Soria will probably pitch mostly in the seventh inning, according to the Detroit Free Press.

However, he said Soria could help in the eighth or ninth inning when setup man Joba Chamberlain and closer Joe Nathan need a day off.

"The ability to get left-handed and right-handed hitters out is extremely important," Dombrowski said. "In our situation, where you are trying to win, I think it’s important to be able to do that. You don’t want to be switching every hitter with a different pitcher if you can avoid that. Soria has shown that he can get left-handed and right-handed hitters out very well. I think that’s important."

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Orioles acquire Jimmy Paredes from Royals
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com

The Orioles acquired infielder/outfielder Jimmy Paredes from the Royals in exchange for cash considerations. Paredes was optioned to Triple-A Norfolk following the trade.

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Marwin Gonzalez able to start Thursday
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com

Astros shortstop Marwin Gonzalez made it into the lineup Thursday at Oakland after leaving Wednesday's game due to soreness in his right hamstring. Gonzalez is batting .294 (15 for 51) with one double, one triple, one home run and eight RBI in 15 July games.

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Yoenis Cespedes sits Thursday due to thumb injury
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com

Athletics outfielder Yoenis Cespedes was held out of the starting lineup Thursday against the Astros after leaving Wednesday's game due to a thumb injury. Brandon Moss was in left field Thursday for Oakland.

Cespedes has been on a roll out of the All-Star break, hitting safely in his first five games. He is batting .381 (8 for 21) with two doubles, two home runs, five RBI and six runs in that span.

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Evan Scribner back in Athletics bullpen
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com

The Athletics recalled reliever Evan Scribner from Triple-A Sacramento Thursday. Scribner has not been in the majors since early April.

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A's remove Jim Johnson from roster
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com

The Athletics made a surprising move Thursday, as reliever Jim Johnson was designated for assignment.

Johnson began the season as the A's closer after being acquired in a December trade with Baltimore. Johnson was removed from the closer's role after a few weeks and had been pitching in middle relief. However, his performance lately had been pretty bad. He's allowed 12 runs (11 earned) in his last five outings.

The move comes as a bit of a surprise since Johnson's name has been linked to trade rumors. In fact, he was almost traded to Miami in early June and it's reported the Marlins are still interested in the veteran reliever.

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Neftali Feliz should get chance to pitch on back-to-back days
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com

Rangers manager Ron Washington said Thursday he isn't certain if newly anointed closer Neftali Feliz can pitch on consecutive days yet. However, Washington feels Feliz will be up to the challenge when the time arises.

"I'm going to give him the ball and tell him to do what he feels he needs to do with it," Washington said, per ESPN. "This is what, Neftali's fifth year? I can't motivate Neftali. That (being the closer again) should motivate him enough. You got a chance to close and that's what it is, a chance."

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Giants can't find a place for Marco Scutaro yet
by Chris Towers | CBSSports.com

Giants infielder Marco Scutaro was out of the starting lineup for the third straight day Thursday against the Phillies, as the team continues to struggle finding a place for him in his recovery from a back injury.

"I'll just use him off the bench today and we'll see where he’s at when we get back,” Giants manager Bruce Bochy told CSNBayArea.com Thursday. "Hopefully we'll get to a point where we’re more comfortable putting him out there a couple times a week."

Scutaro will likely start one game this weekend against the Giants, but the report indicates opposing team scouts have been unimpressed by Scutaro both at the plate and in the field since his return. 

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Brandon Belt cleared to travel, still not working out
by Chris Towers | CBSSports.com

Giants first baseman Brandon Belt was cleared to fly with the team back to San Francisco following the conclusion of their series in Philadelphia Thursday, CSNBayArea.com reports.

Belt is recovering from a concussion, and has still not been cleared to begin physical activities. He has spent most of the team's series in Philadelphia stuck in the team's hotel, and remains without a timeline at this point.  

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Michael Pineda throws two innings
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com

Yankees pitcher Michael Pineda (shoulder) had his scheduled simulated game rained out, so he pitched inside and threw the equivalent of two innings, reports The Journal News. Pineda will throw three innings or 45 to 50 pitches early next week, the report said.

Manager Joe Girardi told the paper he wasn't sure whether that would be a simulated game or in the minors.

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